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Morning call woke us up at 3.30 am and we met our local guide at the lobby hotel of Puri Bening Hayato located in Toya Bungkah. We arrived the previous afternoon for a one night stay.
The guide’s name was Nyoman Sumerta and he explained that the trekking to the summit of Mount Batur would take two hours. Mount Batur rises to 1717 meters above sea level. He also told us that the best trekking is in the dry season, April to September. Dry season brings relatively little mist and few clouds and provides a perfect setting for a sunrise view. And it helps that the trails are not muddy and slippery!
Nyoman Sumerta shared photos of a glowing sunrise and said we’d see this first hand, weather permitting.
We rode motorcycles to reach Pura Jati which is about three kilometers from Toya Bungkah. There are a few starting points to climb Mount Batur, but the most popular one is Pura Jati. We saw a few cars parked close by and realized that we had company. They had driven from Sanur and Ubud and were very international, coming from Germany, Britain, Japan and France.
At Point Pura Jati, there is a small Guide Association office that arranges all this activity. Nyoman Sumerta told us all trekking must be booked through the Guide Association and only Guide Association members may lead treks.The hike trek from Toya Bungkah, is the shortest one. If you start at 04.00 a.m. you will make it to the peak of Mount Batur in time for sunrise (about 6 a.m.) – it is a magnificent sight. The climbs from Toya Bungkah and Pura Jati end in exactly the same spot so often people will go up one way and come down the other.
If you go up from Pura Jati and descend via Toya Bungkah, you pass through a beautiful pine forest. And as a special reward for making this trek, you can take a relaxing soak in the air panas (natural hot spring) in Toya Bungkah.For an interesting round trip, climb Mount Batur from Toya Bungkah, follow the rim around to the western side, then go south through the area of the most recent volcanic activity, descend to the east and traverse through the lava field to Pura Jati. The area south-west of the summit has interesting volcanic features with smoking craters, bright yellow sulphur deposits and steep slopes of fine black sand.
No matter what the weather, make sure you have sturdy shoes. It is slippery near the top. Wear long pants and a warm sweater, windbreaker, or sweatshirt. Take sunscreen to prevent sunburn and bring water. And of bring plenty of film or your
You might find up to 100 people at the summit, most likely to occur during high season. Most tourists are guided to the sandy top of the middle crater. The topmost crater, to the north, is another hour’s climb, along a narrow rim only one meter wide. You can see the sun slowly lighting the whole lake and catch glimpses of Mount Rinjani on Lombok to the east. From here you can also see Mount Abang and Mount Agung, they look like twin Mountains.
From your vantage point you can peer into the volcano’s steaming core and sit awhile on warm rocks while you take in the sweeping panorama across the shimmering water on the lake. Look for the rivers of lava diverted by huge boulders and for relatively recent, all-black lava flows, lava tubes, and parasitic cones.
Breakfast, tea, coffee, and pancakes or jaffles are provided on the summit at the Warung and often this includes the novelty of cooking eggs or bananas in a steaming hole at the top of the volcano. Unfortunately, the practice has resulted in an accumulation of litter…egg shells, banana peels, plastic bags, etc. Please take your rubbish with you leave. Just stuff it into a plastic bag and dispose of it when you arrive back at the bottom of the mountain.
A cave is just next to the crater. Inside, some bats are flying around. According to Nyoman Sumerta, this cave is good for meditation. Before the cave, there is a small cave with lava rock where holy water drops from the top of the cave. He told us this holy water is used for temple ceremony around the Batur area and people will make the climb to collect the holy water.
Surprisingly, on the summit where the Warung is located, there are many monkeys. They are often fed by tourists. And there is also a dog that belongs to the owner of the Warung. The two make the climb together every day and they do it in only 30 minutes!
Book this climbing trip of Mount Batur, click here
Reference Bali Hand Book by Bill Dalton & Lonely Planet